EXCLUSIVE: Live action ‘Moana’ with the Rock coming to metro Atlanta

Trilith Studios will be home to the Disney movie.
Dwayne Johnson arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Credit: Ashley Landis/Invision/AP

Credit: Ashley Landis/Invision/AP

Dwayne Johnson arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

A live-action version of the Disney movie “Moana” is set to begin production later this year at Trilith Studios in Fayetteville.

The movie will star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, reprising his role as Maui, the shapeshifting demigod from the hit 2016 animated film that generated more than $640 million worldwide in movie theaters.

“I am the real life Maui,” Johnson told Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” in November. “Thank you guys very much. I’m so excited about this.”

He said “Hamilton” director Thomas Kail will oversee the movie with Lin Manuel-Miranda back as a songwriter for the music.

In an Instagram post last year, Johnson wrote, “It’s my privilege to share our legends, songs, and dance of our Polynesian culture with all of you and your families.”

The production will require a massive water tank build out, and Trilith has the studio space for such an undertaking.

Casting of Moana has not been announced. Auliʻi Cravalho, original voice of Moana, will not reprise her role but will be an executive producer for the movie, promising to ensure accurate representation of Pacific Islanders. “I cannot wait to help find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit and emotional strength,” she said last year in an Instagram video.

Disney has been picking through its classic animated catalog and turning some of them into live-action versions such as “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid.”

Johnson has shot multiple big-budget movies in metro Atlanta in recent years including “Jumanji: The Next Level,” “Jungle Cruise” and “Black Adam.”